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Adelphia's Verizon Buy Heads to Court

Adelphia Communications Corp.'s decision to buy the cable-television systems
of Verizon Communications has evolved into a litigation war in California.

Adelphia recently announced its intentions to buy the telco's cable
operations in Pinellas, Fla., and Southern California.

The California part of the transaction is troublesome because Verizon
overbuilt a system in Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Camarillo that is
now owned by Adelphia.

Purchase terms were not disclosed, but observers estimated the deal at
between $127.6 million and $139.2 million for the two clusters.

When the city of Thousand Oaks publicly signaled its intention to challenge
the purchase, Adelphia threw the first punch. It filed a lawsuit in U.S.
District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles March

The suit targeted the city and its manager and accused the municipality of
violating Adelphia's First Amendment rights.

City officials believe the acquisition violates local cable franchises.
Adelphia did not give local cities 60 days' notice, as required in Verizon's

Cities opposed the sale in California because they don't want to lose

Thousand Oaks filed its own suit on the franchise violations